President, Dr Irfaan Ali assured newly appointed CARICOM Secretary-General Dr Carla Barnett of Guyana’s continued support for regional development.

The Head of State gave this assurance during a courtesy visit by Dr Barnett at the Office of the President yesterday.

“We are very pleased to have you at this critical time for the Community and even for us here in Guyana.”

President Ali pointed out that as a member of CARICOM, Guyana will look to enhance the Regional Community.

“I have made it very clear that our prosperity will be shared with the region, and that the region will benefit from a stronger Guyana.”


President Ali explained that Guyana is also working diligently on a regional approach to food security. As such, he informed that the Ministry of Agriculture will support the work of the Community in pushing this agenda.

With regards to regional developments, the Head of State said that Guyana is also concerned with the situation in Haiti following the devastating earthquake on Saturday.

The President also invited Dr Barnett to collaborate in finalising the design of the Secretary General’s official residence, to be constructed at Sparendaam on the East Coast of Demerara.

In her remarks, the Secretary-General, who took office on Monday, thanked President Ali for his warm welcome while she acknowledged that there is a lot on the agenda, particularly with matters concerning Haiti and the events unfolding there, including the upcoming elections.


Dr Barnett pointed to the strides made by Guyana in addressing its sustainable development agenda.

“An interesting thing that you mentioned just now actually came up in our discussion with the Secretariat yesterday; the need to balance in our energy development, the carbon-based, and environment because there needs to be a balance and there can be a balance in which both things can evolve. I am really very interested in learning about what your approach will be.  Guyana really has led the way in terms of its approach to sustainability of the natural environment.”

She also expressed gratitude for Guyana’s efforts in assisting Haiti while she explained that the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and the Civil Defense Authority are organising the response in that country. She further explained that the Haitian authorities are pushing for a more coordinated relief effort.

“The secretariat is geared up to do what we need to do,” the CARICOM Secretary-General assured.


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